Pictured left to right: Hugh Hill, Simon Community, Director of Services & Development; Billy Corner, CAN keyworker, Simon Community; Greg Trainer, CAN keyworker, Marie Trust; Linda Abbott, CAN keyworker, Glasgow City Mission; Lyn Docherty, CAN Co-ordinator; Ross Lamont, Senior Addiction Worker, NHS Hunter St, Health & Social Care Partnership; David Williams, Chief Officer, Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership.
To tackle homelessness effectively, radical new solutions and ways of working are needed. This is exactly what the City Ambition Network was set up to do – take the leading homelessness organisations in Glasgow plus ten of the city’s most vulnerable and excluded people with high levels of complex and multiple needs, and work together to break down barriers and create new ways of working together. The aim is to shape services around people’s needs, not the other way round as can often be the case, and stick with people through life’s most challenging journeys.
It’s this revolutionary approach that the City Ambition Network (CAN) has been recognised for at this week’s Scottish Social Services Awards, winning the Silo Buster Category.
CAN was setup by Glasgow City Mission, Simon Community Scotland and The Marie Trust. We had the simple belief that by working together, we could improve services for people relying on us. We shared a common vision that no one in Glasgow should ever need to sleep rough and behind that was a desire to put people at the heart of our services. That meant finding ways of working with people who really struggled to accept the help that is on offer and just couldn’t meet the expectations of services in Glasgow. It wasn’t long before the Health and Social Care Partnership – Glasgow City Council, and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde – came on board opening doors to resources, systems and networks that were critical to offer the right kind of help for these extremely vulnerable people. More recently, Turning Point Scotland have made a welcome addition to the network.
Reacting to being crowned winner of the Silo Buster category of the SSSA, Lyn Docherty, CAN Co-ordinator says: “Most of those working in the CAN will simply say 'we are just doing our jobs' and we were all feeling a bit strange at first about being nominated. Then when we talked about being shortlisted in the Silo Buster category it made us realise that this was recognising that when we work together we get the very best outcomes for individuals.
“Those of us who were able to go to the finals of the awards were very proud to represent the CAN and it was humbling to hear about all the amazing work that the other nominees are doing. It was such a thrill to hear our name announced as the winner and an extra bonus to hear that the judges recognised that a diverse group of partner agencies had overcome lots of barriers to make sure that services reach the most vulnerable, and excluded, people in our city.”